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MS Thesis Defense: Weida Gong

March 28, 2017 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Wieda Gong MS Thesis Defense - Eukaryotic phytoplankton community spatiotemporal dynamics as identified through gene expression within a eutrophied estuary. Photo by Mary Lide ParkerThe M.S. Thesis Defense of Weida Gong will be presented at Murray Hall, in the 3rd floor conference room #3204 of the Marine Sciences Department, UNC at Chapel Hill and live broadcast to UNC Institute of Marine Science (IMS) in Morehead City, NC. This event will be held on Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 at 10:00 AM.

Title: Eukaryotic phytoplankton community spatiotemporal dynamics as identified through gene expression within a eutrophied estuary.

Abstract: Estuaries are highly dynamic and productive ecosystems. A clear understanding of how phytoplankton respond to spatiotemporal environmental dynamics is necessary to ensuring healthy and sustainable ecosystems. Over the span of a year, we investigated the interactions between biotic and abiotic factors along the eutrophied NRE. Through metatranscriptomic sequencing in combination with other water quality measurements, we show that there are different metabolic strategies deployed along the NRE, and nitrogen availability was the main driving factor for such divergence. In the upper estuary, phytoplankton allocate more transcripts to cellular component synthesis and carbon metabolism whereas in the lower estuary transcripts allocated to nutrient metabolism and transportation were most abundant. Molecular-based model was developed and was shown to provide a good estimation for selected environmental factors. We advocate for the use of RNA sequencing techniques within water quality monitoring programs as a way to examine the dynamics of the microbial communities within coastal water ecosystems.


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